The jobless curveball: It’s. Not. Your. Fault.

Ideas

The jobless curveball: It’s. Not. Your. Fault.

If Covid-19 has cost you your job, here’s some advice on how to get through it, starting with being kind to yourself

Christina Patterson

For me, it started with a letter. The letter used words such as “synergies” and “integration”, and said the “synergies” would “reduce costs”. The letter was followed by a meeting with a woman from HR, who talked about “consultation” while gazing at her nails. After that, there was a phone call and then a meeting with the boss. I shouted. He threatened to call security. When I walked out of the office for the last time, after 10 years, nobody even looked up.

That was seven years ago, in a world that now seems a different planet. Now you might have a Zoom call. You might see a figure on your screen shaking their head sadly and telling you that they “have to let you go”. They might say they’re sorry. You might swallow and try to be brave. Someone will click that little red icon saying “end call”. And you’ll be sitting within the four walls that have been your world for the past three and a half months and think: I’m stuffed.

If this happens to you, you will not be alone. In the past few weeks, thousands of people have lost their jobs and this is just the tip of a giant iceberg that will see levels of unemployment not seen for many years. This will, of course, add to the terror. How the hell do you get a job when everyone else is trying to get one, too? But there’s one incy-wincy silver lining and it’s one that might just get you through. Repeat after me, then as often as you need to. It’s. Not. Your. Fault...

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